Living in Apt complex. Security Question

Beatlejohn8Beatlejohn8 Member Posts: 9
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I follow router security protocol as best I can. However, I am not sure how much the electrical wiring system comes into play. I have a smart tv and fire stick and use ethernet connections for both, I am not sure but it seems like the upstairs tenant is watching my movie streams along with me 1) is that possible ? 2) if so what would she be using. 3) how can I combat the technology to stop her

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  • MarcMarc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 1,801
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    Unless you ran Ethernet over your electrical wiring, you should be safe from that.  In this big old world of very deep pocketed and smart folks being able to snoop over things that they should not be able to?  Maybe...  I've read where its possible could tell keystrokes via sounds it makes when typing even ( https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/09/snooping_on_tex.html ).  However I doubt they would target the average person that way.
    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
    Ciaran
  • BrobinBrobin Member, Beta Tester Posts: 16
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    Still not sure how the electrical wiring would be involved assuming we're both defining "electrical wiring" as that which carries 120 volts AC to your lights and electrical outlets.  The other three types of wiring you likely have are coax cables for your TV, two pair telephone wire (for landlines)  and 4 pair Ethernet cables for internet.  You mention that the tech gave you a MoCa filter but you didn't mention if you're using MoCa adapters for Ethernet.  But no matter what you have, if you're watching something through your Firestick, which is connected to the internet via either WiFi or Ethernet and connected to your TV with an HDMI cable, there is no path to deliver the HDMI output to the TV upstairs.  Another thing you mention, turning off the picture on the TV, is something internal to that TV and would not affect the the video stream being delivered to her TV even if she could somehow piggyback on your Firestick's output.  
     Now for the mysterious cable router lights when the Comcast tech was working in the Spectrum box.  When a tech is working in a terminal box it's not unusual to experience a brief outage as splitters are replaced or rearranged so don't read anything into that.

    Beatlejohn8
  • MarcMarc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 1,801
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    Not that I want to muddy the waters but on some tv’s if you’ve connected the fire stick power via the tv’s usb, power could be removed from the stick and it will shut the stick down.  Other then that, I am with @Brobin
    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
    Beatlejohn8
  • The_VorlonThe_Vorlon Member, Beta Tester Posts: 16
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    Hey daFing, Nothing new to report, there is no way, besides going up there to actually find out anything. My ISP  says no, the apt, complex dosen't want to know they blame my ISP and my ISP blames the apt. complex , thats why I reached out to the FING community. I decided to move. My lease is up in January and  why live with frustration.
    i did some further research and made some inquiries (for the record I have over 30 years of IT industry experience, with multiple security and network certifications).  Every peer and subject matter expert I have queried regarding this thinks it is highly unlikely you are being deliberately hacked.  While there are techniques that 'could' in theory be used, it would require a specific set of circumstances and a fairly complex attack vector - certainly not something worth expending the time and energy on to hack a streaming video account, or even attempt a man in the middle attack to 'possibly' get some financial information.  As one person put it 'sorry, that individual isn't big game, not worth the hunt'.
    Now that isn't to say what you are seeing isn't 'real', but it's not a hack.  The most likely explanation (remember Occam's razor I mentioned previously)  is some electrical interference.  Given your description of the state of the building's infrastructure, it is more than likely you are seeing electrical interference - and you are getting the circular run around from the apartment complex and the ISP, easier to point fingers than troubleshoot and fix the problem.  Particularly if there are electrical and low voltage cabling issues in a building, those can be very expensive to resolve. 
    Moving is probably your best option - as unpleasant as that may be.  If you continue to suspect that someone is stealing your information or 'piggy backing' on your streaming video (after all paranoia is good in a security setting <grin>, there are a couple of things you can do to see if it is actually happening.  The most simple is, when you suspect someone is stealing your video - turn off and disconnect the streaming media device. 

    regards -  if you want to discuss further and get into some more detail on proactive steps - drop a line in the fing facebook community and we can link up for an IM session.   
    Marc

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  • MarcMarc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 1,801
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    Hi @Beatlejohn8...  Its unlikely that they are piggy backing onto your video stream.  The stream (really just 1's and 0's) is going from Amazon directly to the stick over your network, authenticated and translated to something the TV can use and finally to the TV.  Without your authenticated fire stick, its unusable, even if they were on your network sniffing the communication.

    As long as your Router is secure, aka you have all the necessary security features enabled like the firewall and a really hard to guess password for the SSID and admin password, you should be ok.  

    Now could they still hack your network (Lets put the fire stick question aside for the moment)?  Possible but that a different question, would require a bit of effort assuming you have secured it etc...
    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
    Ciaran
  • Beatlejohn8Beatlejohn8 Member Posts: 9
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    Hi Marc, thanks for responding, I believe I have secured the router Linksys WRT1200. check it often. FING, Glasswire for monitoring the only thing I have no control over is the electrical outlets if they are shared somehow can some dongle or HDMI wireless tap into it?
  • Beatlejohn8Beatlejohn8 Member Posts: 9
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    Thanks again.
    Ciaran
  • The_VorlonThe_Vorlon Member, Beta Tester Posts: 16
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    I follow router security protocol as best I can. However, I am not sure how much the electrical wiring system comes into play. I have a smart tv and fire stick and use ethernet connections for both, I am not sure but it seems like the upstairs tenant is watching my movie streams along with me 1) is that possible ? 2) if so what would she be using. 3) how can I combat the technology to stop her

    Very unlikely,  I am not quite understanding your comment about 'electrical wiring' - does your apartment building have a common ethernet cable backbone that connects to a common cable modem / router, or are you referring to electrical wiring and using some sort of Power Line ethernet adapter?   Or is your Firestick connected wirelessly to your own router?

    So first things,  a Fire Stick uses an ethernet IP connection to Amazon to communicate and stream video.  That video is delivered to your display using the HDMI port on the Fire Stick which is connected to the TV.  It is not practical to 'steal' or 'piggy back' to your video stream.  
    Even if you are using a common ethernet cabling plant, with a common router shared by all tenants, there is still no way to 'hijack' your Amazon video stream without disrupting the service entirely.  The same would apply to using a powerline ethernet adapter for electrical cabling.
    Now for what could be happening - if you have a Smart TV, such as a Samsung or similar and the TV is set to be 'open', allowing any device to connect to it,  it's possible to use a smart phone or tablet to connect to the TV itself and mirror the video.  I have done that, in the 'wild' so to speak, to demonstrate that smart TV, unless properly secured - can be 'hacked' in that context. 
    Marc
  • Beatlejohn8Beatlejohn8 Member Posts: 9
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    Thanks for responding The_Vorlon,   
    I was referring to the electrical system, and when I do a scan with an analyzer it shows a router and 2-3 Powerline adapters that I can make out. which brings me to my question all along. If the electrical wiring is crossed somehow and she is using any tybe of Adapters or even TV tuner  is it possible that she can intercept my videos or be oi, in my system.  Thanks , awaiting your reply. BeatleJohn
  • daFingdaFing Member Posts: 4
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    Beatlejohn8 - do you notice your internet connection dropping for no apparent reason and/or reconnecting without your involvement?
    Mine does this sporadically when on my computer and has me concerned about a possible man-in-the-middle scenario taking place - or maybe a compromise in general. From what I understand - correct me please - is that if an intruder can get your computer to drop the connection and then use their pineapple device (spoofing your network) when you reconnect, they have access to your computer. I'm not sure if a pineapple might also work for duplicating a firestick feed. I assume that if you have a computer that's been compromised in this manner, it would allow an intruder to access its HD for info on your firestick account (via email or some other docs, keylogger, etc.), thus giving them your streaming video accounts access info.
    Too far-fetched?
  • The_VorlonThe_Vorlon Member, Beta Tester Posts: 16
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    daFing said:
    Beatlejohn8 - do you notice your internet connection dropping for no apparent reason and/or reconnecting without your involvement?
    Mine does this sporadically when on my computer and has me concerned about a possible man-in-the-middle scenario taking place - or maybe a compromise in general. From what I understand - correct me please - is that if an intruder can get your computer to drop the connection and then use their pineapple device (spoofing your network) when you reconnect, they have access to your computer. I'm not sure if a pineapple might also work for duplicating a firestick feed. I assume that if you have a computer that's been compromised in this manner, it would allow an intruder to access its HD for info on your firestick account (via email or some other docs, keylogger, etc.), thus giving them your streaming video accounts access info.
    Too far-fetched?
    Extremely too far fetched,  i am sorry, we are now delving into the realm of super hackers on TV.  Ockam's razor  applies here.   
  • BrobinBrobin Member, Beta Tester Posts: 16
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    Unless you're connected to a powerline adapter (HomePlug) and she has one paired to yours I don't see how that could happen.  I assume you don't use a MOCA adapter either (ethernet over coax) but if you do, a MOCA POE (point of entry) filter would solve that.  What exactly makes you think the upstairs tenant is watching your streams?  Can you hear the movie playing?  If so turn your volume off and see if the dialog you're hearing is in synch with your picture.  If so, press pause and see if the sound from upstairs stops.  If so, knock on her door and and make a new a friend - she obviously shares your taste in movies!  Maybe she'll even tell you how she's doing it.
  • The_VorlonThe_Vorlon Member, Beta Tester Posts: 16
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    Thanks for responding The_Vorlon,   
    I was referring to the electrical system, and when I do a scan with an analyzer it shows a router and 2-3 Powerline adapters that I can make out. which brings me to my question all along. If the electrical wiring is crossed somehow and she is using any tybe of Adapters or even TV tuner  is it possible that she can intercept my videos or be oi, in my system.  Thanks , awaiting your reply. BeatleJohn
    Thanks for responding The_Vorlon,   
    I was referring to the electrical system, and when I do a scan with an analyzer it shows a router and 2-3 Powerline adapters that I can make out. which brings me to my question all along. If the electrical wiring is crossed somehow and she is using any tybe of Adapters or even TV tuner  is it possible that she can intercept my videos or be oi, in my system.  Thanks , awaiting your reply. BeatleJohn
    no - that is not how networking functions.  please read my earlier post - it is highly unlikely that someone is 'hacking' your network to steal your video feed.  As i have stated a couple of times in this thread Ockam's razor .  I suggest you review some network fundamentals  - what you are proposing as the issue just isn't technically practical or even functional.  
    One of the biggest misconceptions about the whole Fing platform is that it is not a security device per see,  it is basically a simplified network monitoring solution with some tacked functionality.  It's not even a very capable network monitoring system and it's access control is easily bypassed - it's simply based on MAC address filtering and spoofing.  Extremely easy to circumvent by just having your network device present another MAC address.  

    It's port detection capability simply tells you that a port is 'open' - meaning a router or other device is listening for traffic on that port.  That doesn't mean there is a 'hole', there are perfectly good reasons for having certain ports open - the port may be listening for traffic but firewall rules or access control lists may block or accept traffic based on parameters such as connection state, source and destination address, etc.  
    bottom line - about 955 of what folks think is 'nefarious' is actually pretty normal - and not really an issue.  In way am I saying that there is never an issue, but most times,  the simple explanation is the right one.
  • Beatlejohn8Beatlejohn8 Member Posts: 9
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    Thanks to all for inputs, Interesting.  Maybe I should start from the beginning so you all know how I arrived to the original question. When I moved in, the upper tenant was already here. These are older apts and the previous landlords offered basic Direct TV to all, so the electrical wiring can come into play. When the Spectrum Installer came out he commented to me that the system was in dire need of an upgrade I brushed it off and my thinking was "just get me connected". The very next day another Installer came out from Comcast and I thought that was strange because in this area of Buffalo NY the only game in down is Spectrum.  The Box for all access and cables (coaxial) leading from- to- individual Apts. are outside of my window so Im watching this guy do his thing and all of a sudden I happened to notice that the lights on my router turned color, the same color that when I reboot my router periodically it turns to. I thought that was strange. I made Spectrum come out and check on 3 different occasions . 1 tech did give me a MoCa filter.
    And to answer your question Brobin, I purposely started doing , not so much of a volume test because you can have earbuds or headphones but , out of the blue I would turn off my tv or turn off Fire stick, or my favorite, (on my sony tv you can turn off the picture and just have sound), all of which sends her scrambling around upstairs like her checking on why all of a sudden she went blackout. So now maybe you all can see why I arrived here. There is not much info besides all of your assistance I found out online. However, I am a curious fellow and needed to know before I went upstairs with a baseball bat (only kidding) Again your input has been Interesting and I thank you all.
  • daFingdaFing Member Posts: 4
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    Am interested to know how this plays out...good luck getting to the bottom of it.
  • Beatlejohn8Beatlejohn8 Member Posts: 9
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    Hey daFing, Nothing new to report, there is no way, besides going up there to actually find out anything. My ISP  says no, the apt, complex dosen't want to know they blame my ISP and my ISP blames the apt. complex , thats why I reached out to the FING community. I decided to move. My lease is up in January and  why live with frustration.
  • Beatlejohn8Beatlejohn8 Member Posts: 9
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    Hey, The _Vorlon, appreciate the input, I have a hard time justifying why someone would even want to but I have tested the situation out for 8 months now like you suggested using some techniques like turning on and off ect. and I dont believe in coincidences .   I want to clear something up, I'm not saying she is in or on my network per se  I'm saying because we live in close proximity and the electrical wire maybe crossed , she can by using some wireless hdmi  receiver  or some kind of tv tuner software. Anyway,  after not working since March, I probably have way too much time on my hands, and once your thought process starts with paranoid thoughts its easy to loose perspective , I'm moving ,already gave my notice



  • BrobinBrobin Member, Beta Tester Posts: 16
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    If she moves and rents a place upstairs from your new place you'll know you're on to something! 
    Beatlejohn8
  • The_VorlonThe_Vorlon Member, Beta Tester Posts: 16
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     I want to clear something up, I'm not saying she is in or on my network per se  I'm saying because we live in close proximity and the electrical wire maybe crossed , she can by using some wireless hdmi  receiver  or some kind of tv tuner software. Anyway,  after not working since March, I probably have way too much time on my hands, and once your thought process starts with paranoid thoughts its easy to loose perspective , I'm moving ,already gave my notice



    uh - no, she can't steal your signal with a wireless hdmi receiver unless you have a wireless hdmi transmitter - and even then they have to be paired, and typically a hdmi wireless transmitter can only pair with a single receiver.  A tv tuner wouldn't work at all for similar reasons.  
    Beatlejohn8
  • Beatlejohn8Beatlejohn8 Member Posts: 9
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    Brobin, Thats funny, I'll be sure to let you know
  • Beatlejohn8Beatlejohn8 Member Posts: 9
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    Vorlon, thanks again !!
    Ciaran
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